Most likely to Succeed is our newest series which points out one player from every team and explains why that player is poised to increase their point totals. While some teams may have more than one player likely to breakout and some none, we will focus on the ones who actually should improve with a full healthy season. File this article under a sleeper-type but sleepers would not be called that if people saw them coming.
Is there any other player to actually feel bullish about on this team?
Due to several mistakes by general manager Darryl Sutter, the Calgary Flames quickly went from contender to pretender. While the core of Robyn Regehr, Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff remains in tact, this team seems full of question marks. Players like Rene Bourque, Matt Stajan, Niclas Hagman, Ollli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay will likely round out the top two lines but no player seems like a sure bet to succeed.
In addition, Iginla hold put up 69 points which is well below his post-lockout average. While his goals remained at a respectable level, his assists plummeted mainly because most of his linemates lacked finish. The aforementioned players may not be safe bets but it is an attempt to add more scoring. At the very least there will be more options for the captain to play with. For now I would put the lines at something like this:
Bourque – Stajan – Iginla
Tanguay – Jokinen – Hagman
At the very least, Iginla could be traded if the team completely tanks which would inevitably raise his value. With three more seasons at 7 million a year, a team would need to bank on Iginla maintaining his superstar level play. As an afterthought, Iginla seems like a question mark himself but his ceiling is much higher than every player on the roster making him the most likely Flame to succeed.